Panthers face tough challenge vs. Gulls
|GAME #7:||Endicott College (4-2, 2-1) at Plymouth State University (2-4, 1-2)|
|Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 2:00 p.m., Currier Field, Plymouth, N.H.|
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University football team faces a tough challenge this Saturday when the Panthers host Endicott College in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division encounter.
The Panthers and Gulls will kick off Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on Hall of Fame Day at Currier Field in Plymouth. PSU is looking to get back on track after suffering a setback at MIT last Saturday, while Endicott is building momentum with consecutive divisional wins over Curry and Nichols. The Gulls need a victory to stay within striking distance of league-leading Salve Regina, while PSU is looking to avoid a second straight losing season.
Plymouth State gained some confidence two weeks ago with an overtime victory over Nichols on Homecoming at Currier Field, but any momentum stalled at MIT in last Saturday's 28-7 loss. The Engineers pulled away to the win, scoring one touchdown in each quarter. PSU's score came on senior Andrew Foglia's (Montauk, N.Y.) third touchdown of the season in the third quarter. Junior Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) led the defense with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery; Morgan has 24 tackles in his last two games. PSU continues to run the ball well and ranks fifth in the NEFC in rushing offense (195 yards per game), while the Panthers also rank fifth in total defense (allowing 330 yards per game). PSU plays three of its final four games on home turf.
The 2010 NEFC Champion and NCAA qualifier, Endicott has emerged as a Boyd Division powerhouse, going 23-6 since the start of the 2010 campaign. The Gulls' two losses this fall have come on the road to Salve Regina, the top-ranked team in New England, and Bridgewater State, ranked fifth in New England. The high-powered Gulls offense averages 372 yards and nearly 38 points per game while the defense gives up just 311 yards an outing, fourth-best in the NEFC. Endicott is coming off a 56-7 victory over Nichols last week, and also owns a 66-14 triumph over Castleton this season. The Gulls shared the Boyd Division crown last season with Western New England, but had to settle for a 31-22 triumph over Mount Ida in the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl.
Saturday's game will be the eighth meeting in football between the two schools, with PSU holding a 5-2 advantage in the career series. PSU handed Endicott it's only Boyd Division loss in its championship run in 2010, but the Gulls took no chances last year in Beverly, Mass., and walloped the Panthers, 49-0. The Gulls took the series debut in 2006, 24-7 in Beverly, before the Panthers won the next four -- 28-17 in 2007 in Plymouth; 36-14 in 2008 in Beverly; a 31-28 come-from-behind win in 2009 in Plymouth; and 10-3 in Plymouth in 2010.
HALL OF FAME DAY: PSU is proud to induct six new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony this weekend, and they will be recognized at halftime Saturday. The new inductees include Cheryl Chase Peabody '85 (Basketball), Nate Kittredge '05 (Wrestling), Kelly Landry '06 (Volleyball), Kelsey MacDonald '07 (Lacrosse/Soccer), Magnus (Eriksson) Thelning '02 (Soccer) and former Panther head coach Dave Webster (Hockey, Lacrosse, Tennis). Congratulations to the new inductees!
PANTHERS AT CURRIER FIELD: PSU has split its first two home games this season, falling to Mount Ida but defeating Nichols in overtime. The Panthers had a 17-game unbeaten streak at Currier Field from 2006-09, including 6-0 in '09, but went 2-3 at home each of the past two seasons. Plymouth State is 27-10 at home since 2005 and has an all-time home record of 146-61-3 for a .702 winning percentage.
NEFC LEADERS: PSU has several players who rank among the NEFC leaders. Senior RB Andrew Foglia (Montauk, N.Y.) is ranked fourth in the NEFC in rushing, averaging 89 yards per game. Panthers in the top 10 defensively include senior DE Matt Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) with 3.5 sacks, junior LB Josh Morgan (Foster, R.I.) with nine tackles for lost yardage, senior DT Wyatt Huston (North Scituate, R.I.) with two forced fumbles and senior Louis Montegari (Wanaque, N.J.) with two fumbles recovered. Junior Jake Matthews (Windham, N.H.) is fourth in punt return average (5.2 yards/return) and senior Nick Cavallo (Salem, N.H.) is fifth in punting (36.5 yard avg.).
NEFC HONORS: PSU has earned weekly recognition in three of the six weeks this season. Here are the Panthers to receive NEFC weekly honors in 2012:
|Sept. 10||DL Matt Fiore (NEFC Honor Roll); RB Andrew Foglia (NEFC Honor Roll)|
|Sept. 17||DB Ray Boulay (NEFC Honor Roll)|
|Oct. 1||LB Josh Morgan (ECAC, NEFC Def. Player/Week); P Nick Cavallo (NEFC Honor Roll)|
WORKING OVERTIME: PSU's 20-14 overtime victory over Nichols in the last home game was the third football game in PSU history decided after the regulation four quarters, and the first Panther victory. The first overtime game was a dramatic 5-OT loss at Saint Anselm College, 41-35, in the 2009 season opener, and the second was a 24-21 setback to Curry College in Plymouth in the 2010 season finale.
NEW ENGLAND POLL: Salve Regina, the only 6-0 team in New England, received all 21 first-place votes and tops this week's New England Division III football poll. NESCAC schools Trinity (3-0) and Middlebury (3-0) are second and fourth in the poll, respectively, and NEFC Bogan Division leaders Framingham State (5-1) and Bridgewater State (4-1) are third and fifth. The bottom half of the poll includes Wesleyan (3-0), Worcester State (5-1), Amherst (2-1), Mount Ida (4-1) and Endicott (4-2). Also receiving votes was Bates (2-1).
A LOOK AHEAD: The schedule doesn't get any easier for PSU as the Panthers are home again next Saturday against 2011 NEFC champion Western New England, followed by a visit to Salve Regina, currently leading the Boyd Division and ranked No. 1 in New England. Endicott visits UMass Dartmouth next Saturday before closing the regular season with home games against Western New England and MIT.
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